Media Release: EMPHN funds Medication Support and Recovery Service in East and North East Melbourne

07 July, 2017

Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) will provide $850,000 funding to Connect4Health to deliver a Victorian first Medication Support and recovery Service program to provide specialist assessment and treatment programs for individuals and families affected by pharmaceutical misuse or dependence.

The service is aimed at helping people access treatment for misuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications, which can be difficult due to community stigma of having a drug problem.

EMPHN CEO, Robin Whyte said people with pharmaceutical misuse or dependence did not typically access traditional alcohol and other drug services because of this stigma and a lack of specialist treatment programs for pharmaceutical misuse.  

“Pharmaceuticals contribute to over 80% of all fatal overdoses in Victoria, with most of deaths deemed to be accidental,” Ms Whyte said.

By basing the Medication Support and Recovery Service in community health centres, we are providing accessible and integrated health services and also removing the barrier of stigma for patients,” Ms Whyte said.

“This service will directly contribute to reducing overdose deaths, hospital admissions and other related harms due to the misuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications,” she said.

This program will seek to help a group of people that don’t normally access support services, yet who are at high risk of overdose and other drug-related harms. This evidence-based clinical treatment program will be particularly important with the Real Time Prescription Monitoring System being rolled out in Victoria in 2018, which will place restrictions on people’s ability to ‘prescription shop’ or ‘doctor shop’ for medications.

The Medication Support and Recovery Service will be delivered by Connect4Health, a strong partnership of three community health services in the Inner East region comprising Access Health and Community (the lead agency), Carrington Health and Link Health and Community.

Connect4Health has also partnered with Inspiro Community Health Service in the Outer East and community health services in the North East to extend delivery across the breadth of EMPHN’s catchment.

This program is funded as part of the Commonwealth Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services funding.

For further information or to discuss a referral please phone the Medication Support and Recovery Service on 03 9810 3084.

EMPHN is committed to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of health and medical services for people in the eastern and north-eastern areas of Melbourne. EMPHN works across an area of 3,956 km² comprising a population of more than 1.5 million people.

For media inquiries: Claire James 0425 887 397

Case study available upon request.